A Chinese woman paid $1,000 to buy 100 dogs stacked in cages ready for slaughter at the Yulin dog meat festival, which is an annual festival to ring in the summer solstice. Dog-lover Yang Xiaoyun, 65, plans to take all the dogs she purchase to her home about 125 miles away and care for them as pets, according to MSN News on June 21.
The majority of the dogs used for their dog meat at this festival are stolen or strays rounded up off the street, according to an investigation by Animals Asia, a Hong Kong based animal charity. The results of this investigation were published this month, drawing more attention to the travesty going on at the Yulin, China, dog meat festival. According to The Business Standard today, “Millions in China wish to call off dog meat festival,” as the movement to stop the slaughter of these dogs for their meat gets stronger.
The activists and pet lovers globally have taken to the social media sites condemning this practice of slaughtering dogs for their meat. While the people who organized the Yulin festival convey that the dogs are treated and killed humanely, pictures tell a much different and darker tale.
Dogs sitting clumped together in fishing nets waiting for their demise have been seen in pictures online, much like the photo above. In contrast to this horrific event, pictures of Yang browsing the festival and purchasing the dogs as a savior of the canines are going viral today.
Activists from all over the globe descend upon the Yulin dog meat festival protesting every move from the dogs containment to their slaughter. Many of the activists groups also buy dogs to save them from the gruesome death as they sit cramped, stuffed in cages.
Today China boasts about 30 million households that keep dogs as pets, which helps in fueling the movement to get these dog meat festivals banned. While some local governments have put a ban in place for these type of festivals in their cities, it is not illegal to eat dogs in China. Unless a local government puts the kibosh on the barbaric practice, the people are free to do this.
Another problem with this practice is health concerns. While China has called on the vendors to respect food safety laws, many of the dogs cooked and fed to humans were strays, with the health of these dogs unknown when slaughtered. Some might see this as Karma if people start getting sick from eating tainted dog meat.
While this dog meat festival is Yulin’s big event of the year, the city is trying to distance itself from it as the backlash grows. They recently posted a statement online saying, “Some residents of Yulin have the habit of coming together to eat lychees and dog meat during the summer solstice,” the city’s news office wrote on Sina Weibo, which is the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
They also said, “The ‘summer solstice lychee and dog meat festival’ is a commercial term, the city has never (officially) organized a ‘dog meat festival.” If they are feeling so much angst for having this festival in their city, it may be time for the officials to ban the practice of eating dog meat in that city.
In 2011, local authorities shut down the Jinghua Dog Meat Festival following nationwide condemnation. The disdain for cooking dogs has caused restaurants that were once the go-to place for a meal of dog meat to close. According to CNN News, a restaurant in Guangzhou that served dog meat for 51 years recently closed as people just stopped coming.
No matter what you do, if it is buying dogs to save them for slaughter or protesting against this practice on social media, the wheel gets squeakier. The more pressure that is applied via social media and media news to these towns in China, this offers up a better chance that they will soon cave into the shaming and outrage and finally ban this practice.
The pictures coming out of this festival are heart wrenching, even the pictures of Yang are unsettling to see her overwhelming dilemma with dogs everywhere at this festival that need saving. Seeing her doing what she can with her $1,000 to save those 100 dogs with thousands more slated for their ill-fated demise may actually bring a tear to your eye.
An estimated 10,000 dogs are slaughtered for this festival. Then people come out and eat these cooked stolen pets and strays, which is a very disturbing concept for human beings to even entertain.